Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Vargas announces changes to Protect the Nest

Friday, March 12, 2021
Graphic by Ally Bruemmer

On Thursday, March 11, Southeast President Carlos Vargas sent out a campus-wide newsletter detailing the updates made to Protect the Nest (PTN) guidelines due to the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center Board of Trustees lifting the Face Covering Order.

The Face Covering Order was originally implemented in Cape Girardeau on Oct. 27, 2020, and has been lifted as of March 8, 2021, due to the amount of positive COVID-19 cases remaining less than 200 people for a consistent two-week period.

In the updated PTN statement, it is still recommended to wear a mask while engaging in conversations or in university buildings; however, there are new rules regarding when and where masks are required.

The updates include students being able to host two guests of their choosing in residence hall rooms and common areas, as well as community gaming equipment and kitchen supplies being available for use. Face coverings can also be removed when outdoors, in one’s own space or with a group of people. Six feet of safety and social distancing are still being strongly suggested with these new procedures in place for the remainder of the spring semester.

Vargas stated Southeast will monitor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), federal, state and local guidelines for more information and updates regarding public health. The PTN guidelines with more information regarding campus health protection can be found on the university’s website at